#1019: Giant-Man

GIANT-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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Huzzah!  We’ve made it to the final part of Giant-Man Week!  It’s time for the literal big guy himself, Giant-Man.  Giant-Man was probably one of Civil War’s worst kept secrets, thanks to both this figure and the Airport Battle Lego set.  It’s not like it was a huge shock or anything, and the actual moment from the film was hardly diminished by knowing ahead of time.  Anyway, Giant-Man is (pardon the pun) one of the bigger things to come out of Civil War, and as such, he’s found his way into quite a good bit of merchandise.  However, this is the first proper movie Giant-Man action figure, so let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GiantManCW2Giant-Man is the build-a-figure for the Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  I know, who would have seen that coming?  He’s obviously based on his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, specifically the airport scene.  The figure stands 10 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Giant-Man is another all-new sculpt.  It’s pretty decent work, with a slight caveat.  The figure offers a decent approximation of his design from the movie, but, like with the Ant-Man figures from the solo movie, this guy kind of misses the smaller details. Well, not misses, so much. All the details are there, but they’re sort of out of place. It’s not a bad look at all, just slightly inaccurate. But hey, this is what happens when you keep a main character’s look under wraps for so long.  It’s certainly not a bad sculpt, though.  There’s a lot of really great texturing on his suit, and he’s got nice, balanced proportions.  I particularly like the use of a separate piece for the faceplate, which allows for Scott’s eyes to be seen beneath the lenses.  It’s a really cool look.  Giant-Man’s paintwork is pretty solidly done.  The colors are all good matches for the movie, and everything is nice and cleanly applied.  The silver could, maybe, be a little brighter, but it looks fine as is.  As an accessory himself, Giant-Man doesn’t include any extras of his own, though I can’t really think of much you could give him.  Maybe a chunk of plane?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As a build-a-figure, Giant-Man is the result of a few weeks of searching for all the figures in this series.  I think he may be one of my favorite B-a-Fs in a a long time.  In general, this whole series was really strong.  The line-up seemed a little odd at first, but almost all of the figures are top-notch work, especially in terms of paint! Which has been one of Hasbro’s problem areas.

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#1018: Nuke

MARVEL’S NUKE

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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Alright, it’s the penultimate day of Giant-Man week. Today’s kind of the “meh” day if I’m being totally honest, especially since yesterday was Black Panther. The focus figure is Nuke, who’s actually a Daredevil villain, created by Frank Miller. He’s sort of been in the spotlight recently (though not as Nuke) thanks to Netflix’s Jessica Jones, where he served as a recurring character. And now he’s got an action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nuke2Nuke (or “Marvel’s Nuke,” as the package bills him) is figure 4 in the Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends. He’s the final comic based figure, and perhaps the one with the most tenuous ties to Captain America. I think he’s fought Cap once or twice. He’s a failed attempt at recreating Cap’s super soldier serum, but who in the Marvel universe isn’t? (Seriously, if they’re not a mutant, good money says they’re a failed attempt to recreate Cap). The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Nuke uses the Hyperion body as a starting point, but that’s really just the upper body.  He has an all-new lower half, which is wearing some loose fitting pants and a pair of combat boots. He also has a new head sculpt, and an add-on piece for his vest. I don’t hate the Hyperion body, but it isn’t without fault, and those faults are becoming more apparent as new bodies are introduced. The new parts work pretty well, though I can’t say the head is one of my favorites. He seems to have been a victim of “Hasbro face” (where the male figures all look the same), which is a little bit of a bummer. At the very least, I’d say the eyes are a bit wide set. Definitely not one of my favorite sculpts as of late. The paintwork on Nuke is pretty basic color work, with no real accenting or anything. It’s fairly decent work, but it makes him look a little gummy. I don’t know what it is in particular that does that, but there it is. At the very least, the application’s clean.  Nuke includes an extra head based on some of his more recent appearances. It’s bald and battle-damage, and reveals his underlying robotic skull. He also has a weird sci-fi rifle that’s been done up in a patriotic paint scheme, and a rather large knife. The extra head’s kind of fun, but I wish he could hold the gun a bit more naturally. The figure also includes Giant-Man’s torso, which is a bit amusing, since Nuke, the largest figure in the series, ends up with the largest figure in the set.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Nuke has never been a particular favorite of mine, so I wasn’t particularly enamored with this figure in the first place. I ended up finding him at TRU (at the same time as Panther and Fury), and bought him solely for the Giant-Man piece. Having bought him, I can’t say my opinion of the figure or the character has really changed. He’s an alright figure, but if you aren’t a fan of the character, I can’t see this changing your mind.

#1017: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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We’re now four days into Giant-Man week. Today, we’ll be looking at my favorite figure from the set. Oops. Spoilers? Ah, you’ll get over it.

Anyway, Black Panther was by far the coolest thing to come out of Civil War (which is saying a lot, because Civil War had *a lot* of cool things in it). As of yet, merchandise of him has been a little difficult to find. I’ve looked at Hasbro’s smaller figure and the Minimate, both of which were pretty cool, but still left me wanting just a little bit more. My most anticipated Panther figure was the Marvel Legends version. It’s been a bit of a wait, but he’s finally here! Does he live up to the expectations? Well, duh.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PantherCW2Black Panther is figure 3 in the Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends. He’s the third of the three Captain America: Civil War-based figures from the series (not counting the build-a-figure, of course). Of course, Panther ended up with one of the most faithful costume translations in all of the Marvel movies, so there’s no reason this guy couldn’t pass for a comic Panther too. The figure stands 6 ¼ inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. Like the Mark 46, Black Panther sports a completely new sculpt, and an impressive one at that. Not only is his musculature nicely proportioned and balanced, but he’s also a pretty much perfect match for Panther’s build from the movie. On top of that, ever bit of this guy is covered in sculpted texture. Panther’s suit looks like it’s made from an actual woven material, which at this scale is immensely impressive. Even the hands are well done, offering a cool claw bearing pose that works really nicely with the figure’s articulation. The sculpt also manages to work in all of the articulation in a way that disrupts the sculpt as little as possible, which is greatly appreciated.  Panther’s paintwork is rather on the minimalistic side, but what’s there is quite sharp, which is good, because imperfections in the paint would be rather obvious due to the highly contrasting natures of the colors. This is one of those times where less is more with the paint, because the lack of superfluous painted details allows the finer parts of the sculpt to really shine. Panther includes an unmasked T’Challa head, which has pretty nice likeness of Chadwick Boseman. Oddly, the head lacks his slight bit of facial hair. The Minimate has this same issue, so it’s possible that he was clean shaven in early shots. Panther also includes the left leg of Giant-Man. I wouldn’t have minded some extra hands as well, but the extra head is certainly a cool extra.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Panther is the figure I’ve been most looking forward to in this set. I’m not alone in this, however, causing him to be the most difficult figure to find by far. Fortunately for me, my local TRU got in a case of this series right before my birthday, when I just so happened to stop by. Panther ended up being bought for me by my boy Tim. This figure not only lives up to my expectations, it actually manages to exceed them. The sculpt is great, the movement is great, and even the paint is pretty great. Hasbro really upped their ante on this guy. Let’s hope they can keep it up!

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#1016: Nick Fury

NICK FURY

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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Alright, let’s keep moving steadily through Giant-Man week. Today, we go back to the comics side of things with Nick Fury. Though the general public is familiar with Samuel L Jackson’s performance from the MCU movies, Fury spent the first 38 years of his existence as a middle-aged white guy (he was also once played by David Hasslehoff, but the less said about that, the better). The SLJ Fury has gotten a couple of Marvel Legends figures from Hasbro, but it’s been a fair while since we’ve seen a figure of the original Nick. Fortunately, Nick’s one of the figures in the latest round of Marvel Legends. On to the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NickFuryMLS3Nick Fury is figure 5 in the Giant-Man Series of Marvel Legends. He’s the second of the three comic-based figures in the set. He’s a slightly odd choice, since Fury isn’t much of a player in either the comic or movie Civil War stories, but it’s not like Nick’s exactly an off-the-wall choice. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Fury is seen here in his classic SHIELD uniform. It’s a slightly more recent incarnation of the uniform (the color of the boots gives it away) but the changes are minimal enough that this Nick could really fit in just about anywhere. He’s built on the Bucky Cap body, which is a pretty good fit for the character. He’s got a new head, as well as add-ons for the shoulder holster, belt, glove cuffs, and thigh strap. This Fury’s head seems to go more for suave super-spy over the Toy Biz Fury’s grizzled old warrior. While I don’t mind it, and I think it may be one of Hasbro’s nicer unmasked heads, I can’t help but miss some of the character from that old sculpt. Comparing the two bodies is no contest, though: Bucky Cap is a huge improvement over the old Namor body, and all of the add-ons look really nice. It’s too bad we’re back to a permanently attached gun on the shoulder holster, but I won’t deny it looks better that way. The paintwork on Nick is all pretty solid. They’ve gone for the solid patch of grey method of handling his 5 o’clock shadow, but it doesn’t look atrocious on this figure. I quite like the SHIELD logos on the shoulders, and I really appreciate the accent work on the white parts of the uniform. Definitely some solid work from Hasbro here. Nick includes two spare heads. The first is a fully helmeted one, allowing for him to double as a generic SHIELD agent, which is much appreciated. The second (and more fun) head is Dirk Anger, Director of H.A.T.E., the Fury parody from Nextwave. Technically, Dirk should have a different uniform, but seeing as this is probably the only way he was ever going to make it into figure form, I’m hardly going to split hairs. Nick also includes a pistol (which can be holstered on his thigh) as well as the left arm of Giant-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember what I said in my Red Guardian review about how finding these guys in stores was happening with increasing frequency? Well, it applies here. I was out with Super Awesome Girlfriend and Tim for my birthday, and we stopped by my local TRU, which had apparently just put out a case of the Giant-Man series. Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on getting this one for me, so here he is. I can’t say a re-done Nick was high on my wants list, but this guy turned out pretty well. Add in the Dirk Anger head, and I’d definitely call this guy a winner!

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#1015: Iron Man Mark 46

IRON MAN MARK 46

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

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Giant-Man week continues! Yesterday was a slightly more obscure character. Today’s review goes the other direction, with a character that everyone and their mother knows. Yes, it’s Iron Man! You can’t go too many series of Marvel Legends without another Iron Man! There might be, like, riots or something. This figure in particular is based on his turn as an antagonist (but NOT a villain, because there’s a difference) in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IMMk462Iron Man Mark 46 is figure 2 in the Giant-Man series of Marvel Legends. He’s the second of the three Civil War-based figures in this set, which is pretty sensible. The figure stands about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Iron Man has an all-new sculpt, which makes this the first Iron Man since the switch-over to Infinite Series to get one. It’s quite nicely handled. All the details seem to match up pretty well to the armor from the movie. What I really like about it is the bulk to it, which makes him pretty convincingly a guy in a suit in armor. That’s nice, because a lot of Iron Man figures don’t quite manage that. The only slight downside to the size is that it makes the already small Captain America look even smaller. But, that’s hardly this figure’s fault. All-in-all a solid sculpt, though. The paintwork on the Mark 46 is actually quite nice. Recently, Hasbro’s Iron Men have been missing some of the painted details on their backs, which is a little frustrating. However, this guy isn’t plagued by this same issue, as he has all of the proper detailing he should. The application could be a little cleaner, but it’s above the usual quality we see from Hasbro. Yay Hasbro! Iron Man was packed with two pairs of hands in both open and closed poses. The open hands also include a pair of removable repulsor blasts (which can also be plugged into the feet, which quite cool) which are a very welcome addition to Hasbro’s Iron Man arsenal. Lastly, he includes the right arm of Giant-Man, which I’ll cover with the rest of figure later this week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I found this guy twice before actually buying him. The reason for skipping those two was NOT because I didn’t want the figure. Nope, it was because both of those figures had their build-a-figure piece stolen out of the package by some scumbag. Bleh. Fortunately, my Dad came across this guy at the Walmart right outside of the town where my family vacations. Despite having quite a few Iron Men already, I was actually quite looking forward to this guy. The new sculpt and the extra repulsor pieces make him a definite win. He’s easily Hasbro’s best movie Iron Man.

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#1014: Red Guardian

RED GUARDIAN

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

RedGuardian1

“In Soviet Russia, Shield throws you!”

Oh great, six words into the review, and I’m already stereotyping. This can’t be a good sign. So, today is the first day of “Giant-Man Week”. A few weeks back, I looked at the first figure from this series, Captain America. Today, I’ll be looking at Red Guardian. If my opening quote hadn’t clued you in, Red Guardian is the Soviet equivalent to Captain America. This is the Red Guardian’s second time as an action figure, though it’s his first time as a Marvel Legend. Let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RedGuardian2Red Guardian is figure 6 in the Giant-Man series of Marvel Legends. He’s based on Alexei Shostakov, the original Red Guardian and he’s one of the three comic-based figures from the series, though, as a Captain America villain who was once married to Black Widow, he’s the comic figure with the closest ties to the Captain America: Civil War theme. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Red Guardian is built on the Grim Reaper body, which is one of Hasbro’s new favorites. The size and musculature are a good fit, so it’s good to see Hasbro’s taking advantage of the new piece. Specifically, he’s a new head on the variation of that body used for the Red Onslaught series’ Classic Cap figure. The re-use is sensible, since Red Guardian is purposefully similar to Cap in design.  Technically, the belt should be circular, but that’s really a minor nit, and with a character like Red Guardian, most people won’t even notice. The new head fits the body well and suitably transitions the look to Red Guardian. I could see an argument that the head’s too big, but I don’t mind. The paintwork on Red Guardian isn’t bad, but I wish they’d fully committed to some of the detailing choices.  He has a nice, subtle shading on his head and upper torso, reminiscent of the creative inking usually seen on Captain America in the ‘60s and ‘70s, which looks really cool. Unfortunately it stops rather abruptly at the shoulders and lower torso, which kind of kills the look. I like what we got, but I wish they’d at least eased in out bit more. The whited out eyes are an interesting choice, seeing as Alexei’s eyes were always visible in the comics. What’s more, the sculpt even has the openings around the eyes for the skin, but it’s just painted black. It’s certainly not a bad look or anything, but it’s a slightly odd choice. Red Guardian was packed with his shield (a repainted version of Cap’s, in keeping with the rest of the figure), and the right leg of Giant-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found Red Guardian at my local Toys R Us. Just walked in, and there he was. That like never happens anymore. Okay, it’s actually happening with increasing frequency, but still. I have only a passing familiarity with Red Guardian, but I’ve always liked the concept and I think he’s got a pretty sweet design. I’m definitely happy to have the figure, and doubly so since I didn’t have to work too hard to get him.

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#0960: Captain America

CAPTAIN AMERICA

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

CapCW1

Despite the movie being out for over a month now, the tie-in toys for Captain America: Civil War are still coming out in little dabs and trickles, here and there. There are three assortments of Marvel Legends being released this year to coincide with Civil War, and while the first of those three has been out for a few months, the actual movie-related figures are in the second and third assortments. The second set is starting to hit stores now, and today I’ll be taking a look at the latest version of Captain America!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapCW2Cap is part of the second series of this year’s Captain America-inspired Marvel Legends. The series has officially been dubbed the “Giant-Man Series,” after its Build-A-Figure. The figure is about 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. He’s based on Cap’s appearance in Civil War…sort of. Why “sort of”? Well, if you’re a faithful follower of the site, this guy probably looks familiar. That’s because his sculpt is 100% the same as the one used for the Age of Ultron version of Cap. Which in turn means it’s using everything but the torso from the Winter Soldier STRIKE Suit Cap. That’s not a terrible thing; those are both strong figures, mostly due to the high quality of the sculpt.  And, to be fair, the three designs aren’t that different from each other. However, the AoU figure made some compromises on his design for the sake of re-use from the STRIKE Suit Cap, so this figure inherits those compromises, in addition to having several of his own. The AoU figure at least got the new torso to somewhat make up for it, but this figure doesn’t get anything new. At the very least, a new set of hands without the extra holes in the gloves would have been nice. Also, while the sculpt is still very strong, minor flaws that weren’t a big deal the first time around, such as the slightly small stature of the figure, become much more noticeable with each iteration. This isn’t a bad sculpt at all, and independent from the other two figures to use it, this Cap is still quite good. The paintwork on this figure is a marked improvement over the AoU figure, at least in terms of application, which is all around much sharper and exhibits far less bleed over. The actual palette is much more subdued than the AoU figure, which I think suits the sculpt a bit more than the brighter look of the AoU Cap. For accessories, Cap includes his shield (the same as the ones included with the other two Caps), and the head of Giant-Man. He lacks the unmasked head and extra hands of the last two figures, which coupled with the much smaller B-A-F piece and the totally reused sculpt is a serious step down in terms of value.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Super Awesome Girlfriend and I found this figure at a Walmart on the way back from the beach. She asked if I wanted him and I decided I’d be good and skip him, since I already have the other two. So, she decided she’d buy Cap anyway, for herself. Then, when we walked out of the store, she turned to me and said: “Upon further thought, I don’t have space for this Captain America right now. I think I’ll have to leave it with you. Do you think you can take care of it, like a shared custody thing?” She’s crafty that one.

This figure perplexes me. I’ve gotten more or less the same figure twice before, but this time he’s got a far less impressive accessory complement. Plus, they’re putting almost the exact same figure in a three-pack with Spidey, only that one had the missing accessories. I should be annoyed by this figure. But I’m not. Actually, he’s my favorite of the three Caps, and I don’t feel like he’s a waste at all. It’s weird.

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